November 27, 2011

Destination China

On December 18th, the Kingkey 100 skyscraper (built by Sir Terry Farrell in 2006) will debut the much-anticipated St. Regis Shenzhen. The hotel occupies the top 28 floors, providing its 297 guestrooms with views that stretch far beyond the financial district immediately below.

Shenzhen started out as a tiny fishing village, but it has become a major cultural center with its abundance of ancient temples, fortresses and tombs. In addition to the historic architecture, the city also boasts the Lake of the Immortals Botanical Gardens, three major national parks, beaches, golf courses, and Dafen Oil Painting Village, an enclave of some 5,000 artists.

For more infomation on the hotel's opening and special debut packages, click here.

Note: it's a flip flop-free zone. A strict code of smart casual will be maintained at the hotel, especially in its six restaurants. (I think I hear my mother applauding.)

The lobby

A guestroom

The pool

November 17, 2011

Designed for the palate...and the nose

Master perfumer Roja Dove, left, and The Macallan's David Cox at the Beverly Hills Montage

Recently, wine and spirits expert R. Dean attended a special Macallan whisky event at £10 bar at the Montage in Beverly Hills on behalf of Entra. Organized in New York and Los Angeles, the private meetings introduced select media and mixologists to a very special new tool in the appreciation of whisky.

Working with legendary perfumer Roja Dove, The Macallan, one of Scotland's most celebrated distilleries, has created an unprecedented scent box to allow its brand ambassadors to open the world of whisky to a broader audience. The specially designed kits feature twelve glass perfume vials of rare essences, like Rose de Mai, which requires hundreds of thousands of flowers to produce even a small amount of oil. The first set of of six initiates a discussion of scent properties—sweetness and spice, youth and maturity, stillness and volatility—that opens participants to the concept of learning to smell with the brain. The second set of oils are Dove's own blends that exactingly replicate the noses of several Macallan whiskies. It's a bit like breaking down wine tastings into flavors of oak, chocolate, and butter, for example, but it's done on a profoundly more sensory, and sensual, level.

“Roja Dove is a master perfumer who is dedicated to the highest quality raw materials in the creation of exceptional aromas and fragrances.  At The Macallan we are committed to the same quality of raw materials in delivering our whiskies,” explains David Cox, director of fine and rare malt whiskies for The Macallan. “Roja was the clearly the best choice for The Macallan. He brings a new and exciting dimension to our storied whiskies in a unique and innovative way.”

Experiencing the scents independently, then blended, enables one to more readily discern the complex notes of the whiskies, and go beyond the immediate intensity of the alcohol’s nose.
The boxes were made by Scottish cabinet maker and furniture restorer Duke Christie, using oak from the Macallan estate.
After the event, Dove created personal scent profiles for each guest—something he can suss in mere seconds.
Visitors to £10, which hosted the event, will find one of the most extensive Macallan collections in the United States including reproductions of the fabled Macallan bottling of 1841 and the world's only remaining two ounces of a 64 year old expression. The bar is named after the Scottish ten pound note, which features an illustration of The Macallan's stills. Interior done by SquareRoot.

To ensure that tastings are handled with the utmost authenticity, ice for your
Macallan is made from Scottish spring water shipped directly to the bar.

For more information on the distillery's alchemistic partnership with Dove, watch the video:

All photography courtesy Jessica Kaminski and The Macallan

A book singing with Hutton Wilkinson

This Monday night, November 21st, from 6-8pm, Bonhams New York will host a private reception and book signing with Hutton Wilkinson, for his latest publication, Tony Duquette/Hutton Wilkinson Jewelry, just released by Abrams. For more information on the event, phone 917-206-1670.

It's a gorgeous new title but let's face it, a signed copy is always just more fun.

To check out the LA Time's recent piece the book, click here.

Noble Provenance

Confession time. Maile and I have a shared, encyclopedic, slightly-terrifying-to-others knowledge of things royal and noble, especially when it comes to the Windsors and to the British peerage in general. It's probably not surprising, then, that when we heard about Maitland-Smith's new collection we had to learn more. You see, not only is it their first designer-licensed collection, but the designer in question happens to Henrietta Spencer-Churchill—eldest daughter of the 11th Duke of Marlborough.


Spencer-Churchill grew up around one of the finest collections of art and design anywhere in the world—Blenheim Palace—so it's probably not totally surprising that she would become a designer herself. Over her three-decade career, she's renovated country house properties, created furnishing lines and authored several books. 

Now she's partnering with Maitland-Smith to launch a new collection of furniture and accessories—some 100 pieces—with a quintessentially English vibe.

Traditional and beautifully scaled, the pieces have restrained elegance that would fit a range of interiors. I might have to get my hands on one, so I can have my very own slice of nobility!

November 16, 2011

Let There Be Light!

Since the days are getting shorter, I'm feeling light-deprived—even here in Southern California where the sky is currently a brilliant blue—and I've been thinking about light and lighting a lot. Where to put, what to use, the whole enchilada. So I was really excited to see the new collection from Aldo Bernardi. Now I'm a sucker for the rustic, industrial vibe in general and their pieces really knock it out of the park. 

Linea Otello, an exterior fixture, has subtle details that temper its industrial edge.

Linea Attila: a family of pole lights in different sizes.

As with the rest of the designs, the new line dubbed Le Magie dell'Elefante, is made near Venice. The collection will light your way on those nights when night falls all too soon.